Skip To Content
- Blog -
Topic Search

Statement Regarding Zaandam

(March 28, 8 pm PT/11 pm ET): We are aware of reported permission for both Zaandam and Rotterdam to transit the Panama Canal in the near future. We greatly appreciate this consideration in the humanitarian interest of our guests and crew. This remains a dynamic situation, and we continue to work with the Panamanian authorities to finalize details.

(March 27, 9:45 a.m PT/12:45 p.m ET): Zaandam is currently off the coast of Panama and rendezvoused with sister ship Rotterdam at 7:30 p.m. local time yesterday, March 26. We received approval from Panamanian authorities to conduct ship-to-ship operations at anchor between the two vessels. Medical supplies and additional medical staff were transferred to Zaandam.

Today we announced a plan to transfer groups of healthy Zaandam guests to Rotterdam, with strict protocols for this process developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only those who have not been ill will be moved, and health screenings will be conducted before transferring. Once aboard Rotterdam, all guests will continue to remain in their staterooms until disembarkation. Any guests who are currently ill, or in isolation as a close contact, and all crew will remain on Zaandam.

While the onward plan for both ships is still being finalized, we continue to work with the Panamanian authorities on approval to transit the Panama Canal for sailing to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Yesterday a number of patients with respiratory symptoms were tested for COVID-19 and two individuals tested positive. Out of an abundance of caution, on March 22 when Zaandam first saw a number of guests reporting to the medical center with influenza-like illness symptoms, we took immediate protective measures, including asking all guests to self-isolate in their staterooms and implementing all other appropriate precautions that have been developed in coordination with the CDC. All guests and crew received face masks yesterday and were provided with instructions on when and how to wear them.

Currently, 53 guests (4%) and 85 crew (14%) have reported to Zaandam’s medical center with influenza-like illness symptoms. There are 1,243 guests and 586 crew on board. On Zaandam there are four doctors and four nurses. On Rotterdam there are two doctors and four nurses.

Holland America Line can confirm that four older guests have passed away on Zaandam. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and we are doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time.

Complimentary telephone counseling services from our care partner, Empathia, have been made available to guests and crew if they would like extra support during this time. For those with family members on board, they can call the following numbers for information: 877-425-2231 or 206-626-7398.

Zaandam was sailing a South America cruise that departed Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 and was originally scheduled to end at San Antonio, Chile, on March 21. Due to global health concerns, Holland America Line made the decision to suspend its global cruise operations for 30 days and end its current cruises in progress as quickly as possible so guests could return home. No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile.

(March 24, 11:20am PT/2:20pm ET): As all ports along Zaandam’s route are closed to cruise ships, Holland America Line has deployed Rotterdam to rendezvous with Zaandam and provide extra supplies, staff, COVID-19 test kits and other support as needed. Carrying 611 crew and no guests, Rotterdam departed Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, at 3 p.m. local time on March 22 and the current schedule is for the two ships to meet by the evening of March 26 off the coast of Panama.

Our intention is to proceed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for arrival on March 30, however plans are still being finalized. Alternative options also are being developed. No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile.

Complimentary telephone counseling services from our care partner, Empathia, have been made available to guests and crew if they would like extra support during this time. For those with family members on board, they can call the following numbers for information: 1-877-425-2231 or 1-206-626-7398.

(March 22, 2 p.m PT/5 p.m ET): This morning aboard Zaandam, 13 guests and 29 crew reported to the ship’s medical center with influenza-like symptoms. Out of an abundance of caution, we have now asked all guests to remain in their staterooms until we have more information. There are 1,243 guests and 586 crew on board.

Zaandam is following the response protocols that have been developed in coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since it is flu season, and COVID-19 testing is not available on board, it is difficult to determine the cause of these elevated cases at this time.

The safety and well-being of our guests and crew is one of our highest priorities. The ship has activated these precautionary measures out of an abundance of caution:

• As is our standard practice, all ill persons have been isolated and their close contacts placed in quarantine.

• Guests have been asked to remain in their staterooms and monitor their health. If they become symptomatic, they are asked to call the medical center for an evaluation and care from the ship’s medical professionals (at no charge).

• Effective today, meal service will be provided by room service until further notice. All public areas are closed.

• The entire ship is operating at maximum sanitation levels, including rigorous cleaning and disinfecting of public and crew areas.

• Crew who are not required for the safe operation of the ship are being quarantined. Those that are needed to maintain the ship’s operation are being asked to self-isolate when not performing essential functions, practice social distancing, self-monitor and report any illness to the Medical Center.

• Both internet and guest stateroom telephone services remain complimentary so that guests may stay in touch with their families.

Zaandam was sailing a South America voyage that departed Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 and was originally scheduled to end in San Antonio, Chile, on March 21. However, due to global health concerns, Holland America Line made the decision to suspend its global cruise operations for 30 days and end its current cruises in progress as quickly as possible and return guests home. Despite previous confirmations that guests could disembark in Punta Arenas, Chile, for flights, we were not permitted to do so. No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas.

Zaandam then sailed to Valparaiso, Chile, where it remained at anchor March 20-21 while taking on provisions and fuel, including regular medications for those that needed them. Zaandam departed Valparaiso on March 21 and is currently sailing north. Our intention is to proceed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for arrival on March 30, however we are still working on securing a reservation to transit the Panama Canal. Alternative options are also being developed.

For those with family members on board, they can call the following numbers for information: 1-877-425-2231 and 1-206-626-7398.

0 Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*